Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hate blog

Yes, I bet them. Yes, they all called. Yes, the majority of players on a 1/2 7 card stud table are mouth breathing retards. Pokerstars routinely has 100k plus people logged in. I don't know where all these fuckers are coming from, but jeeezus christ many of them are bad.

The Twins dealt ace lefty Johan Santana to the Mets yesterday for 4 dudes I never heard of. Hopefully a few of them pan out to be very good players, but we won't know for a few years. It's frustrating that the team keeps losing it's best talent because they can't pay them-or can't overpay them in the case of Hunter, Silva, etc, but that's the reality of a small market team. Get ready in a few years Brewers fans.

Man, did anyone else see that lame ESPN "skit" all about how Tom Brady was actually in the Brady Bunch. The ESPN tech people photoshopped his face in a few old pics and they had fake interviews with Tom and those glory hounds Barry Williams and whatever-the-fuck his name is who played Peter. I wanted to beat that bastard Barry Williams up a la Danny Bonaduce in celebrity boxing.

While I am on the topic of ESPN, what the fuck was with their coverage of the Santana trade. They parade that turd Peter Gammons out in front of a camera and he proceeds to go off on how Boston's deal would have been much better for the Twins. Nice analysis.....douchebag. How about talking about the players the Twins got, or how Johan has been the most dominant lefty this side of Sandy Koufax. Instead the anchor had the audacity to ask him if this deal hurts the Red Sox or Yankees more. News alert. THE TRADE DIDN'T INVOLVE EITHER TEAM! Johan played for the Twins and was traded to the New York Mets of the National league. Short-term the trade hurts the Twins, helps the Mets, and means about as much to the Yankees and Red Sox as it does the Houston Colt 45s. ESPN can eat it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cold. Hard cash.

The day after the Packers lost a good portion of the state of WI was blanketed with several inches of snow including around 8 inches of fluffy goodness here in Milwaukee. The game was pretty entertaining even though the Packers were dominated by the Giants. I have to say that Manning seemed to handle the weather much better than Favre, who looked and played like he was damn near frozen to death. The day after the game I was reading the Minneapolis Star Tribune and one of the columnists was gloating over the Packers loss and compared it to the Vikings heartbreaking loss to Atlanta in the 1998 NFC championship game. I google searched for that game to bring back those painful memories and came across this article from the Journal Sentinel. Reading it made suddenly made me very happy that the Pack lost. I hope it hurts, assholes.

After winning a SNG I played last night and a +70BB 2 hour session of 1/2 7 card stud last weekend, my bankroll is $400+. This is up from 4 bucks, the amount I was reimbursed from some anonymous cheating assholes on pokerstars. I am gonna keep on grinding away and see how far I can go with it. I wish I had a little more time to devote grinding it out - every time I see 100K+ people logged in to pokerstars I start to salivate. School is going to be a serious grind until I graduate. I am proposing my dissertation tomorrow, after which I need to do my experiments, and then defend them in writing and orally. Sounds easy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Vegas III: Fresh air, crumb sweepers, and small victories.

Our last full day in Vegas we decided to get some fresh air and explore the Red Rock canyon area. We has some lunch and made our way west into the hills. It was a very sunny day, but still very brisk, probably around 45 degrees or so with a steady wind. We made our way around the canyon, hiking some of the trails, stopping and looking at others. It was great being able to see something other than the inside of a casino or losers waiting to get chow in a buffet line.

After spending a good part of the afternoon at the canyon we got back to the IP with a few hours to rest up and then make our way to dinner at Lawry's. I took advantage of that time to roam around the IP, finally deciding to stop and have a beer while playing some video poker at the Sake Bar. I flopped a straight flush playing 'deuces wild' and pocketed the profit.

We met mom and sis' at Lawry's off of Flamingo. It was delectable - sis' and I had shrimp and brie stuffed salmon filet, while GF and momma had exquisite cuts of prime rib with 2 shared bottles of Merlot between the 4 of us. Just prior to dessert the waitress whipped out a silver tool which she used sweep the crumbs off our table. Ooo la freakin' la! The 3 ladies were stuffed and tired after dinner which was perfect for me as I was able to watch the end of the Texas/ASU game and play some poker. Texas won, netting me a modest 18 bucks, and I then ambled over to the Flamingo and then back after realizing their pokerroom was full. I was soon seated at a 2/4 table at the IP.

This table was by far and away the best of the trip - it had a couple of out and out fish there to have fun, a couple of decent looking girls from California who had a decent grasp of the game but both ended up losing their buy-ins, and a couple of drunk slobs who were in pretty much every hand. I don't remember much in terms of hands, but I was able to grind out a 50 or 60 dollar win over the course of the next 3 hours. One of the dealers that rotated in moved at an insanely fast pace. It was exhausting watching him do it and I hardly had time to take a decent swig of beer. He informed the table that he did everything fast - a comment that was met with modest chuckles from the ladies. The table started to get shorthanded, and with the speed at which the blinds were coming around I decided to book a small profit and call it a night.

The next day we were on our way back to Fargo. The flight back was pretty good despite a few crying babies. However, it was nightmare on the tarmac part two as the airport people were unable to get the skyway to connect to the plane. We sat there a good 45 minutes until they decided to de-board us using some rickety stairs pushed up to the cabin door.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Future Bears Fan

From the associated press (via jsonline)

- A 36-year-old man tied up his young son with tape for an hour after the boy refused to wear a Green Bay Packers jersey during the team's game on Saturday, local authorities said.

Mathew Kowald, 36, was cited for disorderly conduct in connection with the incident with his 7-year-old son at their home in Pardeeville, Lt. Wayne Smith of the Columbia County Sheriff's Department said. Pardeeville is about 30 miles north of Madison.

Kowald was arrested on Monday after the boy's mother, Kowald's wife, told authorities about the incident. Kowald was taken to the county jail and held until Wednesday, when he pleaded no contest, paid a fine of $186 and was released.

Kowald's wife filed a restraining order on Wednesday, so Kowald will not be able to have contact with his family, Smith said. Smith said other domestic issues have surfaced, though he wouldn't elaborate.

The boy refused to wear the jersey on Saturday, when the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks in a playoff game, Smith said. The father was accused of restraining the boy for an hour with tape and also taped a jersey onto him during that time.

Smith said the incident sounded strange when reported at first, but the mother took pictures with her cell phone and that type of evidence is difficult to dispute.

The boy's refusal to wear the jersey may have just been rebellion, he said.

"We've been unable to uncover any evidence to suggest that this boy was not a Packers fan," Smith said.

Sadly, this doesn't really change my impression of Packers fans, whom I still hold in higher regard than Cowboys fans. The last quote of the story is priceless. It seems to suggest that if there were evidence that the boy was not a Packers fan then the dad's actions would have been justified. That being said, GO PACK! Yes, I am cheering for the Pack despite being a Vikings fan....what can I say, I like a good show. And I don't think there will be any better show to be in the midst of all the fervor that would accompany a Superbowl appearance by the Packers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I don't enjoy oral.

My bankroll took a major hit Sunday night as I dropped about 150 bucks in a few hours (remember I started with 4 bucks a few months ago). I was determined to get it all back at one table and stuck my whole bankroll on the line at a shorthanded 3/6 limit table. I won a few hands and then got the hell out of there as I came to my senses. It would have been a real punch in the balls to tilt off my whole pokerstars balance in one night after building it up from 4 bucks. Instead, I prefer to lose it painfully over the course of several months courtesy of consistent sub-par play. I had a good day yesterday and was able to recoup a large chunk of what I lost.

Today, I decided it was a good idea to start tracking my wins and losses again via MS excel. Maybe this will add some more accountability to my play, even though I have been pretty good about not donking around lately - with the exception of Sunday night.

While I have been playing poker some lately a good deal of my time the last handful of days has been spent working on a presentation for my dissertation proposal. I love most things about being a graduate student, but giving oral (hehe) presentations isn't one of them.

About 5-6 years ago I gave my first lengthy presentation on data I had collected at the time. I had enough to fill about 45-50 powerpoint slides - I got through all of them in less than 20 minutes, leaving a full 30 minutes for any questions about the work I had babbled my way through. The looks of a few faces in the crowd still stick in my head today. Confusion. Nervous smiles. Looks of pity. They had to wonder if my body had mysteriously been inhabited by the fast-talking man who did those Micro Machines commercials back in the 80s. Some of them never came back to these meetings - ever! Even the presentation from the guy who mistakenly showed a porn video wasn't as poorly received. And the porn was awful!

I have got much better with public speaking since that time, but it's nothing that I look forward to. So, wish me luck as I try not to babble incoherently in front of a group of 5 professors.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Redesigning Blog

I spent part of yesterday spiffing up the old blog. Gone is the lame blue, white and is the new header (designed by yours truly) and new colors for the text/hyperlinks/etc. Much improved me thinks. I am hoping that it inspires me to post more. My goal is to have at least 100 posts this year. Get ready for a serious heaping load of tripe every few days. This could turn into me chronicling the minutia of my everyday existence - what I had for lunch, debating the relative merits of crapping at home vs. at work, amateur weather forecasting, etc. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Vegas III: Broken Bottles

I slapped down 20 bucks each on Purdue (-8) over Central Michigan in the 'Who gives a fuck' bowl and on Texas (-2.5) over Arizona State in the Outback Nestle Crunch Doritos Tostitos Frito Bandito Bowl. Purdue had walloped Central Michigan earlier in the year and through the first half of the game look destined for a repeat performance. Purdue was up 21 early in the 3rd quarter and then managed to completely implode and give up 3 unanswered TDs. They ended up winning when they kicked a last second FG, but my 20 went down the toilet.

As the game was going on I was taking my GF out to Pampas Brazilian BBQ at Planet Hollywood for her b-day dinner. We arrived early and did some last minute xmas shopping for a friend of hers who we were meeting for dinner. We (she) decided on some PJs and a bottle of Merlot, which was elegantly wrapped in a cheap gift bag that looked like a slot machine. I was carrying the bag as the 3 of us were making our way through the busy miracle mile shops and to Pampas when all of a sudden the bag felt 75 percent lighter and I was staring at a broken bottle and wine spilling all over the mall floor. We did what any responsible adults would do and we left it there and walked quickly towards the restaurant.

The M.O. at these Brazilian BBQ joints is for 'gauchos' to come around to your table with various cuts of meat on a skewer. We sample different cuts of steak, pork, and chicken. Compared to similar dinners in San Diego and Atlanta, this place was a tad sub-par. None of the meats stood out as exceptional and the service was average at best. We didn't let this put a damper on our evening as we headed to a bar in the PH shops and had a few more drinks.

When we got done my GF was tired and this allowed me to hit up the poker tables again. I played for a couple hours, took some horribles beats, made some horrible plays and lost most of a buyin at 2/4 holdem. I tried to strike gold on a dollar slot machine, but wound up drunkenly dumping 50 bucks in that. Wisely, I called it a night.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Vegas III: Christ's B-day Buffet Special

When I woke up at Harrah's I realized that the events of the night before weren't simply a nightmare - it indeed happened. Why else would we be at Harrah's? The important thing was that we are now here and awake and must go back to IP to check in. After showering and grabbing coffee we head over to IP ready to sit in line for an hour or two. Things go surprisingly smooth at check-in and we make our way up to our "Deluxe" room. Spending one night in a decent hotel makes you realize what a fucking dump the IP is.

We hopped in the Impala and made our way to the Texas Station for a Christmas day brunch buffet. We were meeting GFs mom and sister there. I park the car by a replica of an oil derrick and make my way inside. We are seated quickly and head for the first run through the buffet. Nothing is all that great, but in true Christmas fashion it is a Champagne brunch buffet. All 4 of us wash down our first plate with the cheap swill and we convince the waitress to bring us some more. She came through with a whole damn tray full of the shit and everyone gets pretty toasty by the time we get done eating.

After that we do the regular xmas day gift exchange and everyone gets pretty tired around 4pm. GF and I head back to the IP, she takes a nap and I make a beeline for a 2/4 limit table. The table is short-handed for the first hour or so, and our table even stopped briefly, but they kept brining me drinks, so it was ok. I played for a few more hours before dinner and ended up about 30 bucks.

We head to eat some Mexican at the Forum shops at Caesar's Palace. I have a 15 dollar burrito and spill my 10 dollar margarita in true drunken spaz fashion. After that we do a bit of shopping and call it a night, but not before I lay down bets on the 2 days of college football bowl games.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Vegas III: Getting there is 9/10ths the work.

Our 9pm flight to Vegas from Fargo on Christmas eve was already scheduled to be about 30 minutes late. That 30 minutes became an hour while we were waiting for the plane to arrive from Vegas. It comes time to board and something weird happens because all of a sudden people are no longer being allowed into the jetway. We wait several minutes and learn that something has gone wrong with the jetway and someone is coming to fix it. We finally get on the plane and our pilot informs us that we will leave as soon as the de-icer shows up and does it's job. That thing must have come from fucking Bismarck because it seemed to take forever for it to show up. We finally get rolling about 2 hours after our scheduled takeoff.

The first half of the flight was pretty smooth as my girlfriend and I were able watch some episodes of Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Somewhere over the rockies we start to bounce around a bit, but it doesn't get too bad until we land in 40-50mph surface winds in LAS. We grab our bags and hop on the shuttle to the new rental car emporium near the airport. They don't have the compact car I reserved, so they bumped me up to an 08 Chevy Impala - this is the only part of arriving that goes well.

The Chevy was a bit more car than I am used to and I caught myself racing down Las Vegas blvd at 70mph. We get to the Imperial Palace - both hungry and dead tired. The check-in line is about 15 deep and we decide to hit up the Teahouse for a quick meal. After chowing down my Eggs Benny I go back down to get in line. There is only about 10 groups in front of me, but I soon realize the line is moving so. fucking. slow. Someone would get up to a clerk, give them their ID and CC and all of a sudden that clerk would disappear into an adjacent office for 10-15 minutes. This happened with pretty much everyone who made it to the front of the line and was starting to piss me off pretty good after waiting an hour in a line that should take 10 minutes to get through. My girlfriend joins me in line and we finally make it up to a clerk. I give her my info and she tells me that they have no rooms left and that they need to put us up nextdoor at Harrah's. I understand that hotels overbook to ensure they are full, but there was no excuse for them taking as long as humanly possible to take care of everyone there.

We hike it over to Harrah's and get to a clerk immediately. It is 3am and we're both dead tired. He sets up the reservation for us, but when it comes time to give us keys their fucking keymaker goes dead and he tells us that we can either wait for it to start working again or they can call security to open our room for us. We ask for security who comes pretty quickly. We get to our room and the security guard opens it and someone's shit is all over the room - the numbnut Harrah's clerk gave us a room that was already occupied. I guess we're lucky we didn't walk in on someone getting blown by a tranny hooker. We go back down, get another room - this time with real keys, and finally get into our room. Sleep was in order.